In a new initiative this year at the US Open, players can elect to be interviewed by DURING matches by broadcaster ESPN.
The network which has full rights to the US Open for the first time, took advantage of the new option yesterday by interviewing CoCo Vandeweghe after she had won the first set over fellow American Sloane Stephens.
ESPN’s Pam Shriver didn’t break Vandeweghe’s momentum as she went on to win the match.
Players must agree beforehand to the post-set interview. No word on which players today have opted to allow the interview.
“ESPN approached me yesterday regarding if I was open to the idea,” Vandeweghe said. “They explained it to me that Pam would come out — actually Pam explained it to me herself. She would come out and ask me two questions. It would be in between sets. If I didn’t want her out there I could just wave her away at any point in time. I could say it two seconds before I walked out on the court. I gave her the nod to go ahead, and then it happened.”
Later, Serena Williams was asked about it.
“I think it’s great for some viewers,” Serena said. “Get in the mind of the athletes. But I also think it — you know, for me, I’m really focused the whole time. I’m really trying to think about what I want to do. I don’t necessarily want to answer questions about anything. I just want to be in that moment and kind of focused. That’s kind of the integrity of tennis when you think about it. It’s just you on the court. It’s not a reporter. It’s not a coach. It’s just you in that moment. I kind of love that. It’s the only sport where you have that.”
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